Want to keep your staff? Invest in training, says People 1st

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Management

Helping staff develop and climb the career ladder can keep them happy and keep staff retention levels high
Helping staff develop and climb the career ladder can keep them happy and keep staff retention levels high
With the hospitality industry suffering from low levels of staff retention, nearly three-quarters of businesses working across the sector now believe that training holds the key, with an increase in budgets required to reduce turnover rates. 

The ‘Retention Index’ research, carried out on behalf of the People 1st Training Company, found that the majority of HR directors and training managers feel that training budgets would need to increase by around 50 per cent to have a significant impact on staff retention.

“We know that staff turnover is a big challenge for our sector’s employers,” said People 1st Training Company’s director Sharon Glancy. “The Retention Index gives us the opportunity to monitor the causes for this churn and give HR directors and training managers research that will help them convince their boards to invest in the things that will make a difference to their workforce and, ultimately, the bottom line.

“We know from our State of the Nation report​this year that 49 per cent of businesses that had trained staff in the last 12 months saw their financial turnover increase.”

Train to retain

Staff most likely to stay by being offered regular and relevant training were frontline staff – where turnover rates are the highest of any group of employees averaging 30 per cent

Frontline staff are the most likely to stay by being offered regular and relevant training

Turnover among middle managers remains static at 23 per cent and among senior managers it is 21 per cent. But nearly half of all respondents (46 per cent) report that turnover among the latter group has increased in the past three years.   

Glancy added: “With the rate of turnover high amongst senior management, companies must make sure that their managers have the skills in place to do their jobs. This should not be at the expense of frontline staff however.

“Currently training budgets are not being targeted at the group most likely to be positively impacted by the investment - this will cause issues for employers if it is not tackled.”

Respondents felt that their training budgets would need to increase by an average of 50 per cent to impact retention rates.

Organisations would need to spend:

  • £7,800 a year on each member of senior staff
  • £5,700 a year on each member of middle management staff
  • £1,800 a year on each member of frontline staff

As well as size of investment, respondents were asked what types of training were most likely to impact retention. Personal development and people or team management​came out top, closely followed by customer service.


In terms of the key factors affecting the level of staff retention within a hotel, restaurant or pub, Glancy said: “As much as the size of the investment is important, offering the right types of training, creating opportunities for career progression and ensuring clarity of an individual’s role, were all ranked as important in retaining staff, outside the more traditional factor of salary and benefits.”


“In a competitive market the quality of the customer experience is the key differentiator for hospitality and tourism companies and their people are essential to delivering this. So what business can afford not to train and keep its staff?  

“We hope this Index goes some way to helping the industry tackle one of its biggest problems so it can grow and prosper.”

The Retention Index research was carried out on businesses working across the ‘visitor economy', which covers the hospitality, tourism, travel and passenger transport industries.

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